Songwriting: Harmony

Author: Jimmy Kachulis | Course Code: OSONG-316

This course presents the "power progressions" behind countless hit songs, and dozens of ways to adapt these progressions into your own personal songwriting. Whether you are an experienced songwriter looking for new ideas or a beginning songwriter who can't read music, this course will lead you to a rich source of songwriting possibilities. You'll use techniques such as modulation and cadences to craft the essential dramatic architecture of your songs. By participating in a group of songwriters, you'll have the opportunity to share your work with others, get their feedback, and see different ways that these tools can be used, under the mentorship of a master songwriter.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Generate a groove and chord colors
  • Identify five common key colors
  • Understand and build songs from power progressions
  • Use melody and harmony for color
  • Use cadences and connecting songs with cadences
  • Understand modulation in songs

Lesson 1: Generating A Groove and Chord Colors

  • Parts of a Groove
  • Developing a Groove
  • Four Chord Colors and Lyric Stories
  • Changing Colors of Chords - Variations

Lesson 2: Colors of Keys and Songs From Progression

  • Five Common Keys Colors
  • Building Song By Repetition
  • Contrasting Sections

Lesson 3: Power Progressions

  • Major Key
  • Minor Key
  • Mixolydian Key
  • Dorian Key
  • Blues Key
  • Building Songs From Power Progressions

Lesson 4: Rhythm Variations of Power Progressions

  • Progression Length
  • Chord Rhythm
  • Chord Order

Lesson 5: Song Sections From Rhythm Variations

  • Contrasting Sections
  • Two Sections ­ Two Progressions
  • Three Sections ­ Two Progressions

Lesson 6: Pitch Variations of Power Progressions

  • Subtract Chords
  • Add Chords
  • Replace Chords
  • Add Pedal Parts

Lesson 7: Song Sections From Pitch Variations

  • Contrasting Two Sections
  • Contrasting Three Sections

Lesson 8: Melody and Harmony

  • Coloring a Word
  • Coloring a Phrase
  • Coloring a Lyric Section

Lesson 9: Ways of Coming Home

  • Full Cadences
  • Half Cadences
  • Deceptive Cadences
  • Plagal Cadences
  • Mixed Cadences

Lesson 10: Song Sections Using Cadences

  • Verse/Refrain
  • Verse
  • Chorus
  • Bridge
  • Connecting Sections With Cadences

Lesson 11: Modulation

  • Parallel Key Modulation
  • Relative Modulation
  • Surprising Key Modulation

Lesson 12: Modulation In Songs

  • Modulation In A Section
  • Modulation Between Sections

Jimmy Kachulis

Author & Instructor

Jimmy Kachulis teaches songwriting and lyric writing at Berklee, conducts clinics nationwide, and has helped thousands of songwriters develop and maximize their skills. Look through the bios of some of today's best songwriters, and his name comes up again and again; his students' works have earned Grammy nominations, and been recorded by a vast range of artists on major and independent labels. An accomplished composer, arranger and conductor, he has worked with great artists like George Coleman, Jon Hendricks, John Lewis and Martha Reeves, and his compositions have been featured on scores from The Sopranos to Touched By An Angel. Jimmy's songs and arrangements for "Island Beeze", by legendary guitarist, Eric Gale, have been re-released and distributed worldwide under the Warner Brothers label.


Sarah Brindell

Instructor

Sarah Brindell is a songwriter, arranger, producer, musician, and Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music. With touring credits around the world, she has shared the stage and recorded with many renowned artists including Norah Jones, Carole King, and Raul Midon. Her original songs can be heard on many television shows including MTV’s Made. She was a finalist in the Song of the Year contest as part of VH-1’s Save the Music Foundation, as well as the Billboard World Song Contest. A Summa Cum Laude graduate from Boston University, she holds a Masters degree in Music Education, and teaches courses in songwriting, harmony, ear training, arranging, and stage performance. She conducts clinics nationwide and internationally, and continually helps thousands of students to reach their full potential as professional musicians and songwriters.To learn more about Sarah Brindell, visit this link:

www.sarahbrindell.com


Neil Diercks

Instructor

Neil Diercks is a Los Angeles-based songwriter, song coach, and musician. He served for many years in various capacities at Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., in Nashville, beginning as an intern and eventually becoming Manager of A&R Activities. It was within this role that he worked with hit songwriters including Gary Burr, Steve Bogard, Stephony Smith, Jeff Stevens, and Victoria Shaw, who penned hits for artists such as Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, Ricky Martin, and Christina Aguilera.

Neil is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Berklee College of Music, where he studied songwriting, voice, and music business, and went on to serve on the Board of Trustees for three years. He has lectured and led songwriting workshops internationally, and has won several awards for his teaching, including the UPCEA Excellence in Teaching award (2015); the Pearson Excellence In Online Teaching award (2015); The Berklee College of Music Distinguished Faculty Award for Berklee Online (2016). He currently collaborates with songwriters and artists in Los Angeles and around the globe.

Prerequisites

  • Familiarity with popular music song form
  • Basic proficiency on a harmonic instrument
  • Ability to create a melody (optional)
  • Ability to create original lyrics (optional - will be provided, if needed)

Required Textbook

The Songwriter's Workshop: Harmony by Jimmy Kachulis, Berklee Press/Hal Leonard


Software Requirements

  • Word processing program that can open and save documents in Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • A basic audio recording tool that will allow you to record yourself playing along with a background track and save the recording in MP3 format. You will have a tool to use for this purpose inside the learning environment. Alternatively, you can use software like Audacity (PC) or GarageBand (Mac).
  • Mac Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, or Safari
  • PC Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Edge
  • Flash Player (if using the Record Live tool)

Hardware Requirements

Mac Users

  • OS X 10.7 or later
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 500 MB hard drive space
  • Sound card
  • Speakers or headphones
  • Webcam
  • A built-in microphone or an external microphone plugged directly into your computer (via built in ports or an external audio interface)

PC Users

  • Windows Vista SP2 or higher
  • Intel Pentium 4 or higher
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 500 MB hard drive space recommended
  • Sound card
  • Speakers or headphones
  • Webcam
  • A built-in microphone or an external microphone plugged directly into your computer (via built in ports or an external audio interface)

Comments

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Next Term Starts September 26


  • Level
  • Duration
    12 weeks
  • 3-Credit Tuition
    $1,479
  • or
  • Non-Credit Tuition
    $1,229

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